THE COMPUTER

When I went looking at computers I did not realise that many "Name" brands are not made with industry standard parts and may not come with a "Standard" operating system. It was with luck that I ended up with a standard system made up by a computer shop. It uses an Asus A7V motherboard and came with a 750 Duron since upgraded to 1300 Duron.




The first thing I did was add another drive so I could easily backup and restore after experimenting. The new Fujitsu drive showed up how noisy the original Segate ST320420A was and to shut it up I mounted it in a rubber sling at the bottom of the case. I decided later to just use it for back-up and to protect it from virus infection I have rigged a switch that disconnects the 5 & 12 volt lines to the drive and I only switch it in or out when un-powered and when I am about to use it. I also made a guard that protects the switch (bottom left in above).

The original 250Watt power supply only supplied 8 Amps on the 12 Volt line and occasionally did not have enough power to spin up the 2 drives and boot so it was replaced by a 400 Watt. In preparation for the upgrade to the 1300 Duron which would put out 70 Watts the cooling was upgraded by adding a front fan. The existing rear one was restricted by having to blow through some punched holes so a full sized hole was cut for it and for the power supply fan. Wire grills were fitted.


With proper holes the fan voltages could be reduced to 7 Volts and still give a rise above room temperature of only 4 deg C. The front fan was tending to circulate air and not bring in fresh so the slot under the front was enlarged.


The location of the disks low down at the front means they get cool air directly on them.


To monitor the temperatures I made up a board using a Maxim SMbuss temperature monitoring IC and mounted it as shown above by using one of the board screws (the A7V has an SMbuss pin header)




The above shows the Mother Board Monitor dashboard. The "5V PLUG" shows the temperature of the wires near the ATX power connector. I added this when I was told of a plug that had melted on a friends machine (not an Asus). A bit of research showed that the pins are good for 6 Amps and about 30 insertions so they could be working on the limit. The power supply reading is made from the outside of the supply (for safety) as can be seen from the first picture. The sensor was placed on a hot spot and some extra tape over it insulates it so it reads the inside temperature.

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